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Chhattisgarh to give agriculture status to lac cultivation

Raipur, May 26 (PTI) The Chhattisgarh government has decided to consider lac cultivation as an agriculture activity in the state and promote its farming as a livelihood option for farmers, particularly those living in remote and forest areas, officials said on Tuesday.

Lac is a scarlet-colored resin secreted by an insect called ‘laccifer’ or ‘kerria lacca’ that makes its home on trees. The resin is scraped off from trees, dried and processed to form lac which is used in jewellery and leather industries, they said.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel gave his consent on Monday to accord the status of agriculture to lac cultivation in the state, a public relations official said.

A proposal on this was earlier submitted to the chief minister by the states forest department in a bid to make lac farming a profitable endeavour for cultivators, he said.

While giving his consent, Baghel instructed the agriculture, forest and cooperative departments to present a proposal with mutual coordination during the next meeting of the state council of ministers to include lac and other such profit-yielding produces in agriculture, he said.

Once lac farming gets the status of agriculture, farmers associated with its production would be able to avail loans via co-operative societies, like other cultivators, the official said.

Chhattisgarh has ample opportunities for lac farming, particularly in its northern and southern parts which are densely forested.

Lac cultivation is being done in several parts of the state by farmers on ‘kusum’, ‘palash’ and berry trees in a traditional manner, but due to lack of modern and systematic ways of farming, they fail to fetch good profits against the investment, the official said.

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